Quick Phonics Screener


1. How is the third edition of Quick Phonics Screener different from the earlier editions?

The third edition of Quick Phonics Screener (QPS) introduces the Quick Spelling Survey (QSS). QSS is a spelling assessment that can be given to a group or whole class to evaluate each student's encoding skills. The thirteen skill sets in QSS are aligned to the thirteen skill sets in QPS. The ability to spell words accurately is a more challenging skill than reading for most students. If a student successfully completes a skill set in QSS, he or she will most likely be able to read the words in the same skill set in QPS. So, QSS can save time by screening a group or a class to identify which students need to be assessed individually with QPS and determining which skill set to start with in QPS.

Results from QSS can also supplement and expand the information that is obtained from the administration of QPS by providing information about a student's encoding/spelling skills. If QSS is used across a school year for progress monitoring, results can also help a teacher determine if a student has learned and can apply phonics patterns in spelling and document improvements in handwriting skills.

Note:  QPS First Edition included 10 skill sets.  QPS Second Edition was expanded to include 13 skill sets.  QPS Third Edition includes the 13 skill sets in both the QPS and QSS.

2. Should I administer Quick Phonics Screener to every student in my class?

In primary grades, the Quick Phonics Screener (QPS) can be given to all students in the fall, winter, and spring—as an external measure. Use QPS results to confirm a student's mastery of phonics and decoding skills already taught and to plan instruction. You can also administer the Quick Spelling Survey (QSS) to students in primary grades in the fall, winter, and spring to determine if a student has learned and can apply phonics patterns in spelling and document improvements in handwriting skills.

Beginning in the middle grades (to adult learners), consider administering the QSS to a group or whole class of students first to screen for at-risk students who may have weaknesses in phonics and decoding skills. Use QSS results to estimate a starting point when administering the QPS one-to-one with a student.

3. Do I need to administer every skill set in Quick Phonics Screener to each student?

No! The skill sets in Quick Phonics Screener (QPS) are arranged in order from least to most difficult. To minimize the assessment time, carefully consider where to begin QPS for each student. This decision will depend on the student’s age, grade, and general performance in reading. Or, give the Quick Spelling Survey (QSS) to a student, a group of students, or a whole class to determine which students should be given QPS and on which skill set to start the administration of QPS.

After the student is assessed on the initial skill set you selected, you will decide how to proceed based on guidelines provided in the Examiner’s Manual—whether to proceed to the next skill set, go back to the previous skill set, or stop the assessment. You will stop administering QPS when a student fails to correctly read at least half of the items in a skill set.

4. How do the Quick Phonics Screener skill sets correlate with grade level expectations?

Quick Phonics Screener (QPS) does not label any of the skill sets by grade level. This correlation can be done by comparing the QPS to your state’s specific standards or to the standards of your adopted core reading program. 

The Reading Standards: Foundational Skills for grades K-5 (Common Core State Standards) do itemize specific phonics skills at each grade level. These could be aligned with QPS to determine whether or not students are meeting the Foundational Skills standards.

5. Can you use the Quick Phonics Screener results to determine a student’s reading level?

Quick Phonics Screener (QPS) results will determine a student’s strengths and instructional needs in phonics and decoding. The results from QPS cannot be used to determine a student’s grade level in reading, because it is not a comprehensive test of reading. It is not designed to assess a student’s phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, or comprehension. 

An informal reading inventory (IRI) is an appropriate informal diagnostic assessment tool that can be used to determine a student’s grade level in reading.


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